Bristol UCU Newsflash, 13th May 2020

1) Branch Negotiators’ Update

In last week’s Newsflash, we noted that at a previous Joint Consultative and Negotiating Committee (JCNC), the University’s senior team signaled that they wished to discuss pay at the University of Bristol, as part of the institutional financial response to the COVID-19 emergency.

Discussion is ongoing; budgets are being examined and broad principles considered. We reiterate that no formal proposals have been tabled. Campus union negotiators – UCU, Unite, Unison – have not agreed to any proposals on pay – either a freeze or a cut – or to changes to contracted terms and conditions.

We will consult with members over any proposals as soon as we are able to.

2) TSS

UCU caseworkers have been representing TSS members who were part of the original TSS 84. The TSS 84 were those TSS staff whose contracts were cancelled prematurely on April 9th.

This decision was later reversed, with TSS staff being furloughed where appropriate, and the University agreeing to pay the 20% of salary not covered by the government’s Job Retention Scheme for those TSS staff who were indeed furloughed.

3) Workload

Following JCNC, UCU branch reps will be meeting University Senior Management to discuss the increased workload generated by our institutional transition to online blended learning.

4) Campus Reopening

Campus union branch reps sought and received assurances yesterday that any campus reopening, and any planned phased return to work, should involve the campus trade unions.  For example, union reps should have advance sight of any risk assessment before return to work decisions are contemplated.

Following the government’s announcement on Sunday, UCU – along with the trade union movement in general – is committed to securing the safety of our members, workers and students as a precondition of returning to our workplaces.

5) Reminder: Branch Meeting, Wednesday, 20th May, 13:00-14:00

Next week the branch hosts an online meeting, an opportunity for branch reps and negotiators to report back on current work, and members to raise concerns and suggest branch policy going forward.

Joining details will be shared shortly.